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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ Cupid or ErosView Options:  |  |  | 

Cupid or Eros

Cupid to the Romans, Eros to the Greeks, is the god of desire, affection and erotic love. He is the son of goddess Venus and god Mars. In popular culture, Cupid is frequently shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day. Today he is the personification of love and courtship in general.


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Eros was the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"). According to Hesiod (c. 700 B.C.), one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros was the fourth god to come into existence, coming after Chaos, Gaia (the Earth), and Tartarus (the Abyss or the Underworld). Parmenides (c. 400 B.C.), one of the pre-Socratic philosophers, makes Eros the first of all the gods to come into existence. In early Greek poetry and art, Eros was depicted as an adult male who embodies sexual power. But in later sources, Eros is represented as the son of Aphrodite, whose mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals cause bonds of love to form, often illicitly. Ultimately, by the later satirical poets, he is represented as a child, the precursor to the chubby Renaissance Cupid.
GB84659. Bronze AE 21, CNG e-auction 380, lot 417 (same dies); BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG BnF -, SNG Tub -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG anakkale -, SNG Leypold -, F, well centered, small centration dimples, weight 6.202 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 45o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES L SEP SEV ALEXANDER (many letters blundered or retrograde), laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse DEO CVPIDI-NI C G I H PAR (D and H blundered, god Cupid, Colonia Gemella Julia Hadriana Pariana), Cupid standing slightly left, head right, nude but for drapery over left arm, herm at feet on left; missing from the many references examined by Forum, but several examples are known from auctions; extremely rare; $180.00 (160.20)


Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Wife of Caracalla

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Sulla in a dream first saw Venus with the weapons of Mars as Venus Victrix and made her his personal patroness. In the night before the battle of Pharsalus 48 B.C. Pompey dreamed of Venus Victrix - seemingly a lucky sign. Caesar sacrificed to Venus Genetrix, but issued as watchword 'Venus Victrix', and defeated Pompey!
RS85215. Silver denarius, RIC IV 369, RSC III 25, BMCRE V 429, Hunter III 9, SRCV II 7074, Choice aVF, full circles centering on a broad flan, edge cracks, weight 2.939 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 202 - 205 A.D.; obverse PLAVTILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, looped plait at back of neck; reverse VENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing left, bare to waist, apple in right hand, palm frond in left hand, resting left elbow on shield, Cupid at her feet on left holding crested helmet; $135.00 (120.15)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honor Apollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.
RB73718. Bronze sestertius, RIC IV SA694, BMCRE VI SA190, Cohen IV 62, SRCV II 8232, VF, excellent portrait, attractive reverse style, well centered, tiny flan crack, cleaning scratches, weight 13.843 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, cupid seated facing her in her left hand, cupid is naked, winged and extends his hands toward her, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $100.00 (89.00)


Carteia, Hispania Baetica, c. 44 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.

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The Latin colony of Carteia was founded in 171 B.C. In 27 B.C., when Augustus had become emperor, Hispania Ulterior was divided into Baetica (modern Andalusia) and Lusitania (modern Portugal, Extremadura, and part of Castilla-Len). Cantabria and Basque country were also added to Hispania Citerior.
RP84139. Bronze quadrans, Villaronga-Benages 2609, Villaronga 65; RPC I 116, SNG Cop 434, SNG Lorichs 1337, SNG Munchen -, SNG Tub, VF, tight flan, earthen deposits, areas of heavy scratches, weight 2.922 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Carteia mint, c. 44 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.; obverse CARTEIA, head of Fortuna-Tyche right, wearing crown of turreted city walls, trident behind; reverse Cupid riding dolphin right, IIII VIR above, EX D D below; $80.00 (71.20)


Corduba, Hispania Ulterior, Mid 1st Century B.C.

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The usual reverse legend, CORDVBA, appears to be missing on this coin. Villaronga-Benages 2485, a variant without a reverse legend, is listed as R10, unique. Our coin is not from the same dies, so the ethnic is almost certainly just unstruck.

Cordova, a city in Andalusia was the first colony planted by the Romans in Spain. Its original name was Corduba. When it was made a Roman colony it was renamed Colonia Patricia, to honor the veterans and worthy men who settled it, to whom honor was due, as to Fathers (Patribus).
GB75823. Bronze quadrans, cf. Villaronga-Benages 2485, SNG BM Spain 1636 ff., SNG Lorichs 1364 ff., SNG Cop 462, VF, nice olive green patina with highlighting earthen fill, weight 5.286 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 270o, Corduba mint, Middle 1st century B.C.; obverse CN IVLI L F Q (upward on right), head of Venus right, hair in a bun at the back, curled strands down neck, three pellets (mark of value) behind; reverse [CORDVBA (upward on right)?], winged Eros standing slightly left, nude, torch in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, three pellets (mark of value) on left; from the Andrew McCabe Collection; $70.00 (62.30)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honor Apollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.
RB55439. Bronze sestertius, RIC IV SA694, BMCRE VI SA190, Cohen IV 62, SRCV II 8232, aVF, weight 20.624 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, cupid seated facing her in her left hand, cupid is naked, winged and extends his hands toward her, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $55.00 (48.95)


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D.

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After Apollo insulted him, Eros (cupid) shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in hopeless love with Daphne, a mortal woman. Eros shot Daphne with an arrow which made her incapable of loving Apollo. Nevertheless Apollo pursued her, and out of desperation Daphne escaped by having herself turned into a laurel. Ever after, winners of the games to honor Apollo wore wreaths of laurel in honor of Apollo's Daphne.
RB73738. Bronze sestertius, RIC IV SA694, BMCRE VI SA190, Cohen IV 62, SRCV II 8232, F, well centered, cleaning scratches, weight 23.928 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 224 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse VENERI FELICI, Venus standing facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, cupid seated facing her in her left hand, cupid is naked, winged and extends his hands toward her, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $50.00 (44.50)







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Cupid or Eros